City Sports Report

Fordham rebuilds in the tough Atlantic 10 by Anthony Rushing

Fordham head coach Tom Pecora

Fordham didn’t receive too much love from the Atlantic 10 panel of head coaches and media members who choose the league’s men’s basketball preseason poll.

The Rams were picked to finish last in the 14-team conference that sent six teams to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The poll was announced at the Atlantic 10 Media Day festivities at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It’s another reminder to  Fordham that the rebuilding process for them is still ongoing.

Head coach Tom Pecora enters his fifth season charged with the responsibility of getting Fordham back to respectability. The Rams finished last season with an overall record of 10-21, 2-14 in the conference. It was another tough year for Pecora’s squad in what’s been of labor-of-love rebuilding project.

Despite the record in recent years, Fordham does have signs that appear to indicate they’re heading in the right direction. Sophomore guard Jon Severe is expected to build on his successful freshman season with the Rams.  At media day he was selected third-team All-Conference. This season Severe is getting help with the addition of star recruit Eric Paschall,  a 6’6 forward from Dobbs Ferry, New York. Paschall is being touted by many as the real deal, who, when paired with Severe, may give Fordham the 1-2 punch Coach Pecora’s been laying the groundwork for.

One look at Fordham’s roster this season and it’s easy to see why youth is the word that’ll be mostly associated with them. Paschall has six other freshmen joining him to add more support for Pecora and Severe. Fordham is low on upper classmen this season, which means fans should hope to see a coming-of-age with the young plethora of talent that’ll be on the court.

 The Rams early part of the schedule features road trips to Penn State and Maryland in November. December isn’t any easier with games against St. John’s at Madison Square Garden and Manhattan College at Barclays Center, respectively. Conference play kicks off with a bang in January with Shaka Smart and his VCU team coming to Rose Hill Gym. VCU was picked to win the Atlantic 10.

Room has to be left for growing pains with a team as young as this year’s Fordham roster.  They’ll need to rely on the chemistry they are forming in preseaon and practice to help them weather the storm early in the season. However, with Severe and Paschall leading the youth movement, Fordham has a chance to make significant strides in it’s rebuilding phase.

Anthony Rushing is a contributing writer for City Sports Report, you can follow him on Twitter @AnthonyRushing_

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